Milazzo

Sicily, Italy

Milazzo is a beautiful seaside town in the province of Messina. Rich in art and history, it is also the main stopover for those who want to set sail for the Aeolian Islands all year round. 

On Ferryhopper you will find lots of useful information about this glorious port, its beaches, must-see places, gastronomic delights, and ferries to the beautiful Aeolian Islands. Check out all available ferry routes and book your tickets from Milazzo at no extra cost

Here, you can find detailed travel information about:

Sunset from Milazzo with a view of the Aeolian archipelago

View to the Aeolian Islands from Milazzo at sunset

Milazzo ferry port

The port of Milazzo has very ancient origins. In fact, it was the setting of famous battles and historical events.

Considered an important port of call in northeastern Sicily, it is also the main port for reaching the Aeolian Islands by ferry.

Ferries from Milazzo port: schedules and tickets

Ferries depart daily from the port of Milazzo to the Aeolian Islands, 7 islands of volcanic origin and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Routes from Milazzo to the beautiful Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Alicudi, Filicudi, Stromboli, and Vulcano operate year-round. The companies that serve the various Milazzo - Aeolian Islands crossings are Liberty Lines and Siremar, with both hydrofoils and ferries.

On Ferryhopper's Map of ferries, you can see all the available ferry routes from Milazzo, so that you can easily and conveniently plan your ferry trip.
Here is some more info on all the routes to the Aeolian Islands from Milazzo:

  • Ferry from Milazzo to Lipari: the Milazzo - Lipari ferry route is usually operated with up to 15 daily crossings, with increased frequency in summer. Ferry time ranges between approximately 1-1.5 hours, depending on the port of arrival and type of vessel.
  • Ferry from Milazzo to Panarea: the Milazzo - Panarea ferry connection is usually served up to 9 times a day. Ferry time takes between around 1.5 and 4.5 hours, depending on the company and type of vessel. 
  • Ferry from Milazzo to Salina: you can normally take the ferry from Milazzo to Salina 8 times a day year round and up to 20 times a day during summer. The ferry trip duration ranges from around 1.5 to 4 hours
  • Ferry from Milazzo to Alicudi: catching a ferry from Milazzo to Alicudi is possible throughout the year, with 5 weekly routes in winter and 3-4 daily trips in summer. Crossings range between 3 and 6 hours
  • Ferry from Milazzo to Filicudi: you can catch a ferry from Milazzo to Filicudi throughout the year with around 3-4 daily crossings. The travel time ranges between around 2.5 and 5 hours
  • Ferry from Milazzo to Stromboli: the ferry crossing from Milazzo to Stromboli usually includes 8-13 daily connections to the island's 2 ports (Stromboli and Ginostra). The trip can last from around 1 hour to 6 hours depending on the itinerary, port of arrival and type of vessel. 
  • Ferry from Milazzo to Vulcano: the Milazzo - Vulcano ferry connection is served with up to 20 crossings a day. The ferry ride takes between 50 minutes and 1.5 hours

Tip: if you still haven't decided where to go, you can check out our Aeolian Islands travel guide and discover which island is best for you!

Where is the ferry port in Milazzo

The port of Milazzo is located near the town center. Close to the port you’ll find many visitor amenities, such as bars, restaurants, stores, and parking lots. You can also reach the city's main attractions within minutes.

How to get to Milazzo port?

You can get to the port of Milazzo by car, train and bus. 

From Messina, just follow the A20 highway, take the Milazzo - Aeolian Islands exit and you will arrive at the port in about 40 minutes. 

There are also several trains arriving at Milazzo’s central station from other Sicilian and Italian cities. From the station you can then take the city bus (line 5) to the port in 10 minutes.

Milazzo's marina with the castle in the background

The port of Milazzo with the castle and the city in the background

Vacation in Milazzo

Considered the main port of departure to the Aeolian Islands, Milazzo is actually much more than that: its territory hides myths, legends and traditions.

Therefore, before rushing to take the ferry to Lipari or Salina, you should take advantage of this and stay in Milazzo for at least 2-3 days. In addition to the amazing beaches and sea views, this town is particularly appreciated for its historical-architectural heritage and its number of unspoiled nature spots.

The ideal time to go to Milazzo is definitely summer, but a visit to the town will be enjoyable all months of the year, since its climate is among the mildest in Italy!

How to get to Milazzo

Milazzo is easily accessible by car, train, bus, and ferry. 

If you want to get to Sicily by car, all you have to do is drive to Villa San Giovanni, Calabria, and take the ferry to Messina. Milazzo is 38 km from Messina, so you will arrive at your destination in about 40 minutes. 

Alternatively, you can take the train from major Italian cities, or even the bus (although this option is not highly recommended). During peak season you can also take advantage of the direct Naples - Milazzo ferry connections and travel in comfort. 

If you are arriving from abroad or northern Italy, you should know that the nearest airport to Milazzo is Catania. Seasonal shuttles of the Giuntabus company depart from here and take you directly to the port of Milazzo.

Buildings lining a colorful street in Milazzo's historic center

A picturesque street in the historic center of Milazzo

What to do in Milazzo

If you finally decide to stay a few days in Milazzo before departing for the Aeolian Islands, take advantage of the city’s unique sites and dreamy waters. 

Start your tour from the impressive hilltop castle and fortified citadel; then visit the cathedral and the beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. Get lost in the narrow streets of the historic center and make sure to stop and taste some street-food delicacies!

For beach lovers, the Bay of Tono, with its crystal-clear waters and the Aeolian Islands on the horizon, the promontory of Capo Milazzo (where, according to legend, Ulysses and his companions met Polyphemus) and the Sant'Antonio Bay will be unmissable. 

Thanks to its location, the Milazzo coast also offers fantastic diving opportunities. And if you like trekking, the Pools of Venus and Milazzo’s unparalleled trails will leave you in awe.

Beaches in Milazzo

Being a seaside resort, Milazzo is known for its enchanting coastline with fine and golden sandy bays. The 6 best beaches in Milazzo are:

  1. Ponente: located close to the castle, this is the town's main beach (he part closest to the historic center is usually the most crowded). Equipped with great facilities, Potente is perfect for families with small children. 
  2. Vaccarella: small and picturesque, it is located in a fishing area where it is possible to experience the ancient atmosphere of Milazzo. It has coarse sand and is characterized by the presence of small boats and nets along the shore.
  3. Renella: located between Punta Milazzo and Punta Baldassarre, it is a small white sand beach set in a scenic bay. The Milazzo lighthouse is also located here and is an ideal place for those seeking tranquility. You can reach the beach either on foot (via a challenging path) or by boat. 
  4. Pool of Venus: this small natural pool, located at the end of Capo Milazzo, is formed between pointed and impressive rocks. The cove is protected from waves, so it is also suitable for children. You can access it via a series of steps after walking a nature trail.
  5. Croce di Mare: one of the favorite beaches of Milazzo residents, Croce di Mare is perfect for spending a few hours in tranquility. It is a place surrounded by greenery, most famous for the presence of the statue of the Virgin Mary on one of the rocks. It is reached by taking the road from Marina Garibaldi to Capo Milazzo. 
  6. Bay of Tono: long and home to one of the city's largest tuna fisheries, this pebble beach is among the most beautiful in the area. From here you can enjoy a splendid view of the Aeolian Islands and watch the sunset. The beach is equipped with a few lidos and its waters are blue and always calm.

View of the Bay of Tono in Milazzo

The beautiful Bay of Tono, in Milazzo 

Sightseeing and activities in Milazzo

Milazzo offers several attractions for all tastes. In fact, in the city you can visit museums, historical relics, ancient buildings, and natural sites of great beauty. 

Here are the best attractions in Milazzo not to be missed: 

  • The Milazzo Castle, with dreamy views of the bay and the Aeolian Islands
  • The Old Cathedral, dating from the 1600s and located inside the fortified citadel
  • The Marina Garibaldi, also known as the "Passeggiata di Levante" (Eastern Promenade)
  • Palazzo D'amico, a beautiful 18th century building located on the outskirts of the Vaccarella neighborhood
  • The Sanctuary of Saint Francis of Paola, founded between 1465 and 1467
  • The Sanctuary of St. Anthony, made out of a cave used in 1221 as a shelter both by fishermen and the Saint himself
  • The Museum of the Sea (MuMa), located inside the castle of Milazzo
  • Capo Milazzo, a natural paradise at the tip of the peninsula

Nightlife in Milazzo

There is fun to be had in Milazzo all year round. Stroll along the Marina Garibaldi to experience the city's atmosphere, stop by the clubs in the old town or party till dawn at the outdoor discos open in summer. 

The old town is the nightlife hotspot, with restaurants, pubs, wine bars, and live music. The harbor and waterfront venues are ideal for a sunset aperitif, while for a night of clubbing you can opt for the Ponente, Tono and Capo areas.

Useful Info: among the most beautiful clubs in Milazzo is Ngonia Bay, with its panoramic terrace overlooking the sea and unforgettable musical events.

Food in Milazzo

Milazzo's cuisine is distinguished by its fresh seafood. From soups to pasta dishes to main courses and desserts, the area's gastronomic tradition will surprise you with its authenticity. And don't forget to accompany every dish with a good Mamertino di Milazzo DOC!

Here are some of the most delicious local delicacies to try during your stay in Milazzo: 

  • calamari and cuttlefish
  • squid ink pasta
  • stocco alla messinese (salt cod mixed with tomatoes, capers, olives, potatoes)
  • eggplant parmigiana
  • falsomagro (stuffed meat rolls)
  • fish with caponata (chopped fried aubergine and other vegetables)
  • cannoli (pastries filled with a sweet, creamy filling containing ricotta)
  • piparelli cookies (traditional spicy cookies)

A dish of stocco alla messinese

A freshly prepared delicious dish of stocco alla messinese

What to visit around Milazzo

If you are planning to stay in Milazzo a bit longer we would also recommend visiting nearby destinations to explore cultural sites and natural attractions. Here are our favorites: 

  • Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto: this town nestled between the sea and the mountains is located 10 km from Milazzo and has a very ancient history. Don't miss a visit to the necropolis and the Ethnohistory Museum!
  • The Sanctuary of Tindari: almost half an hour from Milazzo, Tindari and its sanctuary are definitely a must-see. Here you will find the famous statue of the Black Madonna (carved from a rare Turkish cedar wood).
  • Nebrodi Park: located 90 km from Milazzo, this is the largest national park in Sicily, with a surface area of just over 85,000 hectares. Get ready to discover numerous rivers, streams, centuries-old forests, and unspoiled spaces of Mediterranean scrub!

Tips

Here is everything you need to know for a perfect stay in Milazzo:

  • Don't miss the summer Eggplant Festival, an event that has been celebrated in the Santa Marina hamlet of Milazzo for more than 30 years. You can taste typical dishes, dance and listen to folk music!
  • Milazzo's coastline offers plenty of diving opportunities. In fact, both beginners and experts can take advantage of the many underwater hiking activities organized by the Capo Milazzo MPA.
  • Near the port of Milazzo is IllusionVille, an interesting museum of optical illusions opened in 2020. An unmissable stop that everyone will enjoy!

Useful information about Milazzo

The municipality of Milazzo has more than 30,000 inhabitants, so the city has a large number of services for visitors as well. 

If you want to stay in Milazzo for a few days and fully experience its atmosphere, we recommend staying near the castle or in the Marina Grande area. Here you will find various hotels, B&Bs and apartments within a stone's throw of the city's main attractions. 

If, on the other hand, you chose to stay in Milazzo and embark for the Aeolian Islands the next day, we suggest you opt for the port area. In addition to having lots of bars and restaurants, it is perfectly situated close to the ferry terminals.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Milazzo

Here are some numbers that may prove useful during your vacation in the Sicilian town:

  • Municipality of Milazzo: +3909092311
  • Port Authority: +390909281110
  • Carabinieri: +390909249800
  • Hospital "G. Fogliani": +3909092901
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Milazzo

Milazzo is a fairly small town, so it is very easy to get around on foot. If, on the other hand, you prefer driving your own vehicle, you can get around the city and its surroundings freely.

City buses are operated by the AST company, which offers connections to and from the train station and the main beaches in the area.

Near the port of Milazzo you will find several rental services and both public and private parking lots.

The castle of Milazzo and the fortified citadel

Milazzo's imposing castle and its fortified citadel

Where to book Milazzo ferry tickets online

On Ferryhopper, you book your ferry from Milazzo at no additional cost. Find all available Aeolian routes and get ready to discover the entire archipelago!

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Milazzo has direct ferry connections with 11 ports :

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